Strategy and corporate objectives

The complex challenges society is faced with are summarised in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 17 SDGs constitute a global call to action to create a socially, ecologically and economically sustainable world by 2030. Together with internal and external stakeholders, Witteveen+Bos looked into how we can maximise our contribution to achieving the SDGs. Our analysis shows that we can make concrete contributions to 11 of the 17 goals. We defined four corporate objectives through which we aim to increase our impact on these material goals.

Objective 1: Societal value through projects

Our primary corporate objective is based on the first part of our mission: to add value to water, infrastructure, environment and construction projects. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN) constitute the starting point of our objective: a worldwide action plan to ensure a socially, ecologically and economically sustainable world by 2030.

Based on a materiality analysis in 2016, we consulted with internal and external stakeholders to investigate how Witteveen+Bos can maximise its contribution to these goals. In 2017, all four business lines determined which of the 17 SDGs they could most contribute to through their projects and with their knowledge. In the coming years, we plan to assess all completed projects using a SDG Impact Tool, which was developed internally at Witteveen+Bos. This will enable us to increase the impact generated through our project work.

As SDGs focus on developing countries, Witteveen+Bos translated the SDGs into ‘hot topics’ relevant to our projects. We translated the seven sustainable design principles (SDPs), ensuring maximum contribution to these societal goals in each project. These SDPs are: designing with nature, flexible design, circular design, multifunctional design, participative design, social design and Trias (use of energy and raw materials is limited and optimised). These SDPs are part of our Quality System, which is based on the most recent ISO 9001 and SCC standards.

Objective 2: Talent development

Our second corporate objective is based on the second part of our mission: we want to provide a platform for our staff to achieve their ambitions and fully develop their talents. We aim to be a good employer by promoting diversity and enabling our employees to realise their full potential.

Our corporate culture of trust and entrepreneurship is aimed at ensuring good in-company relationships and caring for each other. We also aim to ensure that employees gain optimal satisfaction from their work and that we have sufficient in-house talent for career development and promotion to management or other positions. Finally, Witteveen+Bos contributes to high-quality technical education and training programmes, and events designed to encourage young people to study technical subjects.

Objective 3: Sustainable business operations

Sustainable business operations was defined as our third corporate objective. In order to work on projects and develop talent, we must have professional ICT systems, comfortable business premises and effective operational processes. This means that our departments provide professional support to each business line and offices, with a view to maximum value creation. Ensuring our mobility is more sustainable, reducing our CO2 emissions and promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the supply chain are other key pillars.

Objective 4: Economic value

Achieving healthy financial results is essential to ensure the company’s long-term continuity. Good financial results are necessary to ensure sufficient scope for innovation and other new developments, and to invest in people. We therefore aim to realise a healthy annual net profit margin of at least 8 % and an annual workforce and revenue growth of 3 to 5 %.

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